Vista, Drivers and Starforce

I tried to get an answer for this in the Games thread on SF, but no luck, so a new thread here.

Will Vista allow kernel-level drivers to be installed without a specific warning? Or even any drivers at all? Will it still be possible to install Starforce without popping an MS trust box on Vista?

I have no answers, only one more question:
Will WHQL drivers be required to allow a driver, with or without warnings?
That would be an end to Starfarce right there.

I have a friend who writes drivers for National Instruments, and we had a big discussion about this a couple of weeks ago. Kernel mode drivers require a supplementary license from Microsoft, but it’s not WHQL, and it’s not that big a deal. It’s more that the company has to agree to abide by certain guidelines and purchase the license from MS. There isn’t a WHQL certification-like requirement.

Vista will not allow Session 0 Drivers (Kernel Mode) unless they are Signed / Logo’ed.

The Administrator can NOT disable this, like he could in XP64.

This restriction is only in Vista 64 bit edition.

So it’s been 2 months, any new info on security, particularly in terms of installing semi-trusted programs (like games)?

Application Compatibility in Vista:

(Reading through that… I … am really wondering what will happen with vista…)

By default, Windows Vista will run every application as a standard user even if you log on as a member of the administrator’s group.

Driver Signing Requirements:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/winlogo/drvsign/drvsign.mspx

This was interesting: (although old and not related to your question)

You should find the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 perform flawlessly in all resolutions up to 1280×1024 for the Aero Glass interface; anything higher and you may find traces of sluggishness, especially in 2048×1536.

On the other hand, both ATI Radeon 9600Pro and 9800SE are capable in handling the Aero Glass interface in all modes up to 1600×1200, thanks to ATI’s efficient systems driving these cards. However, again, the performance will degrade dramatically in higher resolutions.

Since Windows Vista is not expected to be released until 2006, all videos cards available today and this year (including the GeForce 6 Series and the Radeon X800) will become obsolete by then. You may find it more economical to purchase the top-end models when they are on clearance. The new video cards that will be released in 2006 will likely be at least three times as powerful as the ones today.

It looks like there are only 2 levels of security, user and administrator. If most games require administrator access to install, this will be of very little use. I was hoping for a finer granularity in security than this seems to offer.

From what I read into it, even the administrator is not really an… “administrator” anymore… In that he can not override a few of the “Hey, this can cost money” systems they have in place. (Unsigned Drivers on x64 platform => no way until they haxx it).

I guess there is no big change regardless of how they make it sound like, since I have not run across any “vista will destroy your games” blogs out there.

So either everyone is running administrator + “allow everythinG” just like we are used to in the wonderfull world of not having to “chmod 755” everything or their system works.

But my guess is that most 1337 Beta “testers” run and play with Administrator and rarely do any real testing on the platform and mostly use it to post pictures of their desktop on their blog then reboot to XPlite to play CS:S.

At least one can be hopefull that the family will be able to run Vista Basic with user permissions and get less infected by viruses than they do now.

I wonder what kind of compatibility issues will appear in NT 6.0… Especially with old products requiring this&that™. If I am lucky, Discworld Noir that stopped working in XP will work again in Vista.